Product Idea

The Castle in the Forest

Story
The elders among us still remember that long ago there was a castle in the middle of the forest. An abandoned place where fugitives used to hide from tax collectors, forced marriages and other evils of the harsh medieval world.
The people who lived there were used to be called the forestmen. They lived from hunting, fishing, and anything the forest had to offer. To be honest, they also lived from robbery, but only of the rich, of course...
No one knows exactly why, but the fortress was abandoned around 30 years ago and most people forgot the existence of the forestmen.
But recently rumors grew about people that lived somewhere deep in the forest.
A knight and his squire were set out to search for the old fortress and to find the people living in the forest. The knight was confident that he would succeed, not only would he make them pay their taxes, but the castle could be useful for himself.
What happens to this knight is a story full of adventures. I assume the people of the forest will not easily submit. They are the forestmen ... and they are back !


Inspiration for the idea
This set is inspired by 3 sets that came out 30 years ago. I combined them into one big set.
On the left : the house with it's blue roof, the tree with a hole in it, is inspired by set 6054 "Forestmen's Hideout",
On the right the hidden cave, and the balcony above, inspired by set 6066 "Camouflaged Outpost".
And in the center : the main entrance and the tower itself, inspired by set 6077 "Forestmen's river Fortress". This set had a prisoner who has been forgotten since, that's why only his skull remains.

With its weird shape on top, the castle looks like "la tour de Crest", that is the tallest keep  of France.

Like other building it has a year inscription "ANNO 1392". Switch 2 numbers ans you get 1932 the year when the Lego company started. The year 1992 is probably the year when i decided to go for the Lego castle theme. 30 years later it still is my favorite theme.


Parts
The build has just over 2000 parts. I built it both with stud.io and with real parts to be able to check the play functions, mechanisms and to make a solid construction.
I created some new prints for torsos, and parts. I also wanted a squirrel (my favorite animal). Besides the Lego Friends version, the Lego squirrel part does exist but only in Lego City Undercover and Lego Worlds video games.


About a few interesting building techniques
-both sides of this build are angled with the use of wedge plates and bricks. When closed, the walls and the stairs fit into each other perfectly.
-For this build one of the challenges was to be able to create the top of the build with the battlements. It is lifted half-a-plate higher with 1x1 bracket parts placed vertically. This creates some complex situations but finally it works very well. I really like the detail with the 1 x 2 curved slopes under the battlements.


Play functions
Instead of opening the building by removing each level (like the modular buildings), I preferred to use hinges. Both sides open outwards, the wall at the back opens and the rock  on the right opens too.
There is a hatch on the first floor, an escape passage trough the fireplace, a door that can be lifted up with a chain, a secret passage to get inside the tree, a secret hiding place for a treasure chest.
There is a also a bread oven at the back of the cave (inspired by the chimney of set 6066)


Thank you !
Thank you for checking out my project, I'd really appreciate your comments in the comment section and your support !
If you also want a Lego castle Ideas set to make it to the shelves you can share this project with your friends.
The forestmen might come back...


PS : photos of my real version will be added in the updates soon.